Broncos gun faces weighty issue
Matt Gillett has a lot of work to do to get himself in the shape required to run out in round one.
The Broncos veteran has shed close to 10 kilograms following off-season shoulder surgery and he's reportedly under an intense weightlifting regimen in order to bulk up enough to begin contact work after Christmas.
Of course, the longer it takes the Kangaroos and Maroons back-rower to begin contact work, the less likely it is he'll be cleared in time for the blockbuster opener against the Storm in Melbourne on March 14.
While he's coming back from a shoulder reconstruction, it was a serious neck fracture that kept him sidelined from round 5 last season.
League commentator Ben Dobbin said Gillett is confident of being right for the start of the 2019 season.
"Well he says he's going to be right for round one but look we all know a neck injury can't be taken lightly. He hasn't got clearance for the neck but he thinks that's going to be right," Dobbin said.
"The main concern is his shoulder. He's had a recon over the course of the off-season, he won't start any contact at all (until at least after Christmas).
"Now most of us when we don't train we put on weight, Matt Gillett's got the other drama, so he is about seven kilos lighter than what he should be, he leans up.
"What he needs to do is he needs to get seven kilos of muscle on, so his main work at the moment, he's not doing all the cardio, he's in the gym and he's lifting weights, he needs to get back.
"He'll try and start some contact after Christmas and hopefully fingers crossed because the Broncos need him to be right for round one."